Theo Walcott gave Arsenal a timely boost yesterday, as he featured for 45 minutes in Arsenal under-21s 0-0 draw with the under-21 side of Blackburn Rovers at Boreham Wood.
Walcott has been out of action since he tore his anterior cruciate ligament back in January, with that now infamous exit from the pitch etched into Arsenal folklore.
Since that game against Tottenham Hotspur he has been through the rest, recovery and rehabilitation phase - but nothing compares for when he gets out into the real action.
That is why getting back into games like this are so important.
Because it is not just the physical side of things the Arsenal striker will need to overcome in order to get back to his best. Many players when they return from serious injuries struggle with the mental side, fearing another injury, therefore affecting their game.
Aaron Ramsey admitted he suffered with this aspect of recovery after his serious leg-break, Eduardo Da Silva the same.
Walcott was asked about that factor when speaking to Sky Sports last night, and gave a rather amusing answer.
Because he did not give the Blackburn youngsters a chance to kick him yesterday, he was simply too quick for them.
But that doesn't mean he has not received a whack or two in training, with the bullish Mathieu Flamini at hand to get him prepared for first-team action once again:
"Yeah no one managed to really get me today though. I have already been knocked by Mathieu Flamini a few times already in training though. That side of it is not a problem at all that happens in games. But not many people managed to keep up with me tonight so I didn't get any knocks in today's game. "
So Walcott is not going to let his mental state get in the way of his comeback. And with Flamini around, he will get plenty of practice.